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Too Neurotic to be Suitably Aquatic

You ever see those movies where they ask volunteers to step forward, and everyone but one person takes a giant step backward? That's how I became the co-captain of FISH (Federated Independent Swimmers of the Hudson) Masters.

Our team used to work out to music, but the speaker system has been broken all year.

I've just completed my 3rd year of competitive swimming after a lifetime of sitting on the couch and just playing around in the water. I'm very into breaking personal best times.

  1. 30 x 100

    by , November 23rd, 2011 at 08:00 PM (Too Neurotic to be Suitably Aquatic)
    Well, I did it today.

    Not so fast, bliss guy.

    In my dreams last night, I was going to return to this blog with tales of victory of how I swam 30 100's on 1:30 without stopping. Yes, dreaming about USMS forum blogs is, indeed, the first problem.

    The second problem was that the Tarrytown YMCA was about 85 degrees this morning, and the jets were bringing in even warmer water. Also, just because one reads about people who swim multiple 100's on 1:20, and just because one is friends and teammates with those people, does not mean that one is immediately able to pull feats of fast swimming out of one's .

    It went down like this:

    Started with a 600 warm-up:
    4x25 free
    4x50 rev. IMO
    4x75 drill, kick swim, IMO

    5x100 on 1:30, making them all! Took 30 seconds to cool down and did...
    5x100 on 1:30, but that interval started slipping away by the last two 100's.
    took a break to pour cold water all over myself...
    5x100 on 1:30, making them all! (barely.) Took 30 seconds to cool off and one of the other swimmers started chatting, I let her chat and extended my rest another minute. But back to work! I wanted to get 4,000 in before the bus. I wanted to live the dream.
    5x100 on 1:30, but really, only the first one was on 1:30. The others were more like 1:35. My arms were heavy, and I stopped watching the clock. I decided it was time to switch to a 1:45 interval.
    10x100 on 1:45. Thanks to that extra time of rest, I made them all on 1:30! Well, I made the first seven on 1:30! I slipped a little after that. I gave myself a nice extra 15 seconds after the 29th 100 and swam my last one all out, making it on 1:25.

    400 warm-down backstroke & corkscrews & other feats of just floating.

    I wish my achievement could have been as simple as 30x100 on 1:30. That would be less typing. I'll have to try again, I think this is an excellent challenge set for me and what I want to be doing with my swimming. It would be interesting to me to try this in a pool that isn't so warm, and with a teammate to hold me accountable. But you know what this means? I get to eat much pie tomorrow, and I earned this ridiculous smiley:
  2. Tur-Duck-En

    by , November 22nd, 2011 at 09:06 PM (Too Neurotic to be Suitably Aquatic)

    On Monday, our last workout before the school break, I gave FISH the Turducken Workout as designed by the always clever Swimsuit Addict. It went like this:

    (I missed warm-up by showing our 1st place trophy to our Coach and getting an earful about how his high school girls could swim 100 fly in the time it took me to swim 50 fly. Yup, may be so, but they don't have a trophy!)

    A turducken workout is to stuff a 50 of one stroke into the middle of a 100 of another stroke, then stuff that into a 200 of yet another stroke.

    4 x 350 @ :30-:40 rest interval
    1st 350=100 FL/50 BK/50 BR/50 BK/100 FL
    2nd 350=100 BK/50 BR/50 FR/50 BR/100 BK
    3rd 350=100 BR/50 FR/50 FL/50 FR/100 BR
    4th 350=100 FR/50 FL/50 BK/50 FL/100 FR

    Kick set: 7 x 100 K @ 2:00
    400IM/200IM/100IM turducken kick set:

    100 FLY, 100 BK, 50FL/50BK, 100 IM, 50BR/50FR, 100 BR, 100 FR

    It took the lanes some time and chatting and debating to figure out how the whole thing worked, and I completely understand procrastination in the face of a 100 fly. As for me, I was still recovering from the meet, so I didn't finish a true turducken. I did the vegetarian version and mostly swam freestyle. But maybe I'll have leftovers sometime next week an go for it again!

    Later in the day, my buddy and I hit the gym:
    Bench Press - 65 pounds, 4x10
    Squats - 105 pounds, 3x10
    Deadlift - 95 pounds, 3x10

    Shoulder Rolls - 5 pounds, 2x15
    leg lifts - 1x50 each side
    Plank - held 45 seconds, then 30 seconds
    Rotator Cuff 5 pounds, 1x15 each side

    To build some endurance, I'm changing the weight to more reps, fewer sets, and starting the weights out a little lighter as I make that change. Today, I mostly felt that lifting in my back, I think I got the most out of holding that plank many seconds beyond my comfort zone.

    Tomorrow, I'm going to see if I can get to the pool and figure out what all this 30x100 nonsense is all about!
  3. Nassau County Aquatic Meet

    by , November 21st, 2011 at 01:16 PM (Too Neurotic to be Suitably Aquatic)
    I went to the AquaFit meet at the Nassau County Aquatic Center yesterday. Accompanied by only two other team members - FISH took first place in the small teams division! And that was first out of 11, so it was actually a thing.

    I went for a bear of a set list, and this was Short Course Meters:

    Carolyn Bennett, 33:
    200 Meter Freestyle - 2:49.05
    50 Meter Backstroke - 46.40
    200 Meter Breaststroke - 3:44.10
    100 Meter Butterfly - 1:52.00
    200 Meter IM - 3:28.46

    Again, I'm really not happy with my 200 free. It was a second slower than my last go a year ago. The swim felt good, but for a sluggish feeling that set in during the last 50. Even with that, I thought I was on pace to do better than last time, but then I looked at the clock, and there's just no improvement. These were my splits:
    39.09 1:22.08 (42.99) 2:05.01 (42.93) 2:49.05 (44.04)

    I have a few theories on this:
    1) I'm tried. I'm swimming more now than I have ever before, and I might need some rest to let the yardage sink in. (About a week ago, my FLOG total surpassed last year's.)
    2) I'm lacking the innate athleticism one needs to endure a 200. Can I possibly make this up with more swimming or working out? Or weight lifting? If that is the case, I need to alter my current plan.
    3) I stopped doing yoga. Last fall and winter, I went fairly regularly every Tuesday night. I think there was something to that. I stopped going because I'm trying to be careful with my spending, but I can't manage to do an hour of continuous yoga unless I'm paying for a class.
    4) I'm on a plateau. I need a plan to get off it. Could use some coaching, maybe?
    5) I have some kind of tropical disease that has no symptoms other than that my muscles feel heavy when I use them.
    No matter what the excuse, I'm not yet giving up on my goal to qualify for Nationals in the 200 free. (My swim buddy is convinced that what's going to happen is that I'm going to get to Greensboro and swim the qualifying time there.)

    As far as the other races yesterday, I recovered from my minor 200 free disappointment, and I was pretty happy with them. The 100 fly was a bit ridiculous, but that was just a few minutes after the 200 free, and I had no goal but to finish legally. I kind of dig that it ended in a .00.
    The 200 breast was good fun, and I dropped about 15 seconds off the last time I swam it by keeping my eyes on the black line and working my glide.
    Also, I'm happy with dropping two seconds off the 50 back, a stroke I've been swimming with more frequency.
    The 200 IM I was also glad to just finish legally. It was the last event of the day, and I was jelly. My two teammates stood on the side and cheered, and I'm convinced that was what kept me from stopping after the fly was over. It felt nice to do some freestyle again!

    Other notes on the meet:
    What a great social event! It's always nice to see Ms. Swimsuit Addict in person, and I also bumped into some swimmers I've met during my visits to Westchester. I know there were some other fourumites there, but the meet went a little too quickly for me to have time to make new friends.

    Also, my sister and her husband were able to stop by because they live in Long Island, very close to the pool. I look forward to the day that they have kids so I can come visit and take 'em swimming.

    This was the first masters meet for one of our teammates, and she was great fun to have along. She's in my age group and swims in our lane and faster than me, so I'm looking forward to having the competitive push I need to help get me off the damn plateau.

    Congrats to everyone who was there, and thanks to Lisa and AquaFit for running yet another exceptional meet! (I've got my hardware all up here on my cubicle wall now.)

    Updated November 21st, 2011 at 01:38 PM by swimmerb212

  4. Let us celebrate with the addition of chocolate to milk

    by , November 14th, 2011 at 04:37 PM (Too Neurotic to be Suitably Aquatic)
    Yikes! two days out of the pool, the longest I've gone in a while. I finally got in again on Sunday, before the club swim practice (I was guarding, and then I spent an hour teaching a swim lesson trying to get a 12-year-old to do just one 25 of legal breaststroke. He came very, very close by the end.) On Sunday, I did a super 1000 set with two faster guys, and I didn't quite hold on to the base :45 intervals, had to drop 3 50's to keep up. I assigned the same workout to FISH this morning so I could redeem myself:

    500 warm-up
    2 SUPER 1000's:

    50, 50, 100 @ :45, :45, 1:30

    50, 150 @ :45, 2:15
    100, 100 @ 1:30, 1:30
    150, 50 @ 2:15, :45
    100, 50, 50 @ 1:30, :45, :45
    (1st round free, 2nd round stroke - intervals on base :55)

    SUPER 500 Kick, with fins:

    25, 25, 50
    25, 75
    50, 50
    75, 25
    50, 25, 25

    And I made it! I didn't stick to the intervals as religiously on the second round of stroke because my lane-mates were more interested in pulling freestlye, so there were a few times they caught up to me and my slow-as-hell strokes. But I think I got some good work in before Sunday's meet.

    ****SIDE NOTE****A friendly reminder when writing blogs - save, save often! I just lost a whole big thing about my post-workout meal because I accidentally clicked the "go advanced" button. Obviously, I am not ready for being advanced.

    So here is the short version:
    Upon the advice of jbs, I tried chocolate milk as a post-workout snack.
    It is easier on my tummy than bars.
    It doesn't give me as many adverse lactose-intolerant side effects as I feared it would.
    I feel full for a long time afterward.
    Via my cold-drink thermos, it's easy to port to my lifeguarding gig and on the train.
    Mixed nuts & cranberries make a nice supplement to the chocolate milk.
  5. Today I Don't Feel Like Doing Anything

    by , November 10th, 2011 at 03:26 PM (Too Neurotic to be Suitably Aquatic)
    My workout today isn't even worth mentioning. I got to the Tarrytown YMCA and felt like dirt. This time change still has me tired out, and my shoulders aren't feeling so great, so I did my warm-up very slowly, and then I did some butterfly drills and backstroke to shake it out.

    So in other news, this is something I keep posted next to my computer. SCY Nationals qualifying times in pen, my PR's in pencil, hopefully to be altered as the season progresses.

    Earlier today, I signed up for a SCM meet at the Nassau County Aquatic Center on Sunday, November 20th. I'm swimming 200 free, 100 fly, 200IM, 50 back, and 200 breast.

    The 200 free is all I really care about. The others are to complete some items on my personal check-off challenge to do each event in each course at least once in this age group. I'm not that worried about the times on this one. I'll save that for NE Champs if I go.

    Tomorrow, I'm hitting the pool hard.
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  6. It's So Heavy

    by , November 9th, 2011 at 06:46 PM (Too Neurotic to be Suitably Aquatic)
    Today's swim took me about 2000 yards before I felt like I was actually warmed up and ready to swim. And then I had about 150 yards of glory before my arms felt like they were made of lead. But in those 150 yards, life was beautiful.

    This workout was copied from a Tall Paul workout earlier this week. (Which I just typed as "Taul Pall," and would like to keep that way.)

    500 warm-up swim & kick

    2 x (4 x 100's)
    - round #1 25scull/25swim/25drill/25swim @ R:20
    - round #2 swim descend 1-4 @ 1:30

    3 x (4 x 50's)
    - round #1 kick @ 1:00
    - round #2 swim IM order @ :50
    - round #3 swim w/fins or paddles or snorkels or pull

    4 x (4 x 75's @ 1:30)
    - Round #1 = #1 first 25 at 100 race pace/50 cruise, #2 second 25, #3 third 25, #4 all fast at 200 race pace
    - Round #2 same as above but stroke option
    - Round #3 same as Rd#1
    - Round #4 more of a warm-down than anything, really

    3100 total

    And with that, I hit 350 miles for the year!

    I tried out the new turn with deeper feet, and it was kind of magical. I kept up with the guy who I have deemed my personal pace rabbit for most of the swim, with the exception of a few sets where he left me with something to aspire to. (And the sets where he wore his fins, being that I forgot mine at home.

    Thanks to the commenters yesterday for the post-workout food suggestions! I'm persuaded enough to try to drink chocolate milk again for the first time in decades, starting.... tomorrow. Bananas are still out, as they are the fruit of the devil. Today, I admit, I went to Dunkin Donuts and got egg and cheese on a bagel. I'm not even going to try to justify that, and I'm not even going to pretend that I didn't also get a pumpkin donut as well. I craved, I caved, it happened.

    But during lunch, I went to the store and I stocked up on coconut milk, chocolate milk, cottage cheese, and some berries that I plan on freezing for later use. I've also got some nuts and dried fruits, which I predict will be a lovely replacement for those stupid bars.
  7. Give me a foot, and I'll go a mile

    by , November 8th, 2011 at 12:38 PM (Too Neurotic to be Suitably Aquatic)
    I swam at the Tarrytown YMCA today, I think the water was about 82 degrees. They had been doing so well keeping it cool this summer. That, combined with a sort of overwhelming malaise Iíve had recently led me to do a more technical and restful swim:

    4x25 free
    4x50 rev. IM

    4x75 kick, drill, swim IMO

    4x100 @2:00

    50 kick, 100 swim, 200 broken IM, 300 pull breathe 3,5,7,3,5,7

    50 kick, 100 swim, 200 broken IM

    50 kick, 100 swim

    50 kick

    10x50 (these I went all out)

    4 @ :50 r:30 (made it on :45)

    3 @ :45 r:30 (made it on :40, :43, :45)

    2 @ :40 r:1:00 (made it on :36, :45)

    1 @ :35 (made it on :37)

    300 work the turns & swim down

    The best thing about todayís practice was working my new flip turn. I get such a better push off the wall just by dropping my feet down a few inches. That little bit of extra tuck gives me so much power, and Iím looking forward to giving it a go at team practice tomorrow, where I usually get left in the dust at the walls.

    Another thing Iíve been giving some thought to lately is eating, and I donít mean in the way that I think about eating all the time. I am trying to come up with a better post-workout plan. First breakfast, the before swim one, is usually oatmeal or cereal. I would like to cut out the cereal, but there are a lot of mornings where I just canít stand to eat a hot breakfast, or do anything more intense than adding milk to a bowl. After practice, Iíve been eating a bar of some sort or another. But those make me really sick to my stomach, and thatís across the board: Cliff, Granola, Nutri-Grain. So I throw it to the group: anyone have a good on-the-go snack thatís refreshing and somewhat good for you? Do I need to work smoothies or something like that into the mix? And is there a way to do that for the blender-cleaning adverse?
  8. Toast

    by , November 6th, 2011 at 02:29 PM (Too Neurotic to be Suitably Aquatic)
    I've had a pool-centric weekend. Lifeguarding at the middle school, coaching the kiddies, got a swim in, and today I got a swim in, and I'm on the way to teach a swim lesson.

    This is what I swam yesterday afternoon at Vassar:

    1000 warm-up:
    4x25 swim
    4x50 rev. IM order
    4x75 kick, drill, swim, IMO
    4x100 on 2:00

    3x125 (75 IMO +50 free) (25 recover)
    3x100 (50 IMO + 50 free)
    3x75 (25 IMO + 50 free) (25 recover)
    3x75 (25 IMO + 25 free)

    3x100 @ 1:45
    3x100 @ 1:35
    3x100 @ 3:00 (made it on 1:21, 1:20, 1:22)

    3x100 kick: 50 fly, 50 flutter

    300 breathe every 3
    200 breathe every 2
    100 breathe every 7

    100 play

    I had 3 important goals for this workout:

    1) figure out the fly. I have the kind of stroke where I pause and glide at the top of the stroke, and I'm trying to teach myself not to let my hands stop there. I can make it work on one or two strokes, especially if I don't breathe. I think it works best when I can change the timing of my kick. But sometimes my hands just slip through the water.

    2) making those 100's as fast as possible, which I decided would take extra rest. I was happy that I got all those 100's in under 1:30, and in under 1:25 when I really cooked them. Eventually, I'd like to see if I can do that without the extra rest.

    3) Alternate side breathing! I'm starting to feel some issues with my right shoulder, and I chaffed my neck on the 1650 last weekend after mostly breathing on my right. I took the last 600 of the workout as slow as I could to keep myself from cheating.

    Earlier today, I swam 2000 over at the CIA. The pool was over 80 degrees and I was falling way behind on my turns, so me and my swim buddy stopped the written workout, and focused on some turning drills. I think I might have had a small breakthrough by getting my feet lower on the wall so I can push off deeper in the water. I can't wait to see if it works in practice!

    Off to teach some eight-year-olds how to do legal breaststroke!
  9. Break out the Swiffer

    by , November 4th, 2011 at 05:00 PM (Too Neurotic to be Suitably Aquatic)
    ...Because I'm dusting off the old blog. I'm not certain I'll actually get to use this often, as I still have a 2-hour (each way) commute to work, and no smart technology to access the internet while on that commute. However, I have some things I want to update:

    1) As of yesterday, I got my first individual top ten time! My 400IM at Middlebury, where my strategy was "don't DQ" eked me in at #10. I was understandably ecstatic, as you might have noticed on my forum post over there. I would say that I'm going for #9 next year, but I have a distinct memory of my only thought upon finishing that race which was, "I am never doing this again."

    2) Speaking of torture, I set a goal for myself to complete each event once in competition before I age up in January 2013. That means I need to do 200 fly sometime in the next year. I'm still not really sure how to do butterfly, so that's an adventure I'd like to blog.

    3) I've also got an inkling to see if I can qualify for Nationals. Basically, that will mean taking the gains I've made in the past four years, and doubling them before the spring. YIKES! My main focus is on the 200 free. The qualifying time is 2:14.52. My personal best is 2:29.84, set in May 2011. The first time I swam it, in 2008, I went 2:59.70. Drop 30 seconds in 3 years and 15 seconds in 1 year? Is that even possible?

    4) Well, there was a setback to that... I went to the Leatherstocking Meet in Oneonta last weekend, and posted a 2:36.61 in the 200. That was a disheartening setback, especially because it felt like a good, but not great, race. However, I was tired after the 100IM (that WAS a PR by 2 seconds), my swimsuit was all kinds of stretched out, and it was my first race in months. I didn't have a lot of rest before the event, because dozens of people didn't show up to the meet because of the freak snowstorm. (I climbed over a tree blocking my door to get there, dammit! That's the kind of dedication I have! Also, a swim meet seemed like more fun than sitting in an apartment with no power or internet.)

    5) Now I need a plan. I want to shed those 15 (20) seconds. But I'm really tired all the time. Oh, also, I started substitute coaching the 8 & unders at a club team. They are SO CUTE! But that takes up some of my free time, and could contribute to the tired. But the plan, what should be my plan? I've taken notes on Ande's Swim faster faster, I've talked to my coach & my workout buddy a little, and I'm trying to do my best to hang on in practice and tail my lane leaders, who can handily swim the QT for nationals. I thought dusting off the old blog might help a little, as far as keeping myself accountable and researching my own progress. Also, I need to keep reading yours, because I'm in need of workout inspiration for FISH.

    How have you been?
  10. You better start swimmin' or you'll sink like a stone

    by , May 6th, 2011 at 11:35 AM (Too Neurotic to be Suitably Aquatic)
    I wrote this workout on the train the other day, because I wanted something to practice for this weekend when I'm swimming all the 100's and the 200 IM. It turns out the team really liked it! Even my lane-mate who's fast but doesn't like to break a sweat had me cursing myself for writing such tight intervals, which he stuck to religiously.

    1000 warm up

    2x100 on 1:40
    4x25 fly rest :5
    100 kick: 50 free / 50 no board
    50 recovery

    2x100 on 1:35
    4x25 back rest :5
    100 kick : 50 free / 50 no board
    50 recovery

    2x100 on 1:30
    4x25 breast rest :5
    100 kick: 50 free / 50 no board
    50 recovery

    2x100 on 1:25
    4x25 free rest :5
    100 kick: 50 free / 50 no board
    50 recovery

    200 IM
    200 warm down

    I was pleased that I brought my 100's in under 1:30 with ease and time to rest each time. I'm working on not breathing into the turns, and I felt that gave me some great set-ups to streamline further. Also working on:

    fly - keeping my feet in the water on the kick, recovery with thumbs down

    back - faster arms! more rotation!

    breast - keeping those hands in tight, thumbs under shoulders. Shortening up my glide to look less like a mom who doesn't want to get her hair wet.

    Currently, I am SO TIRED, SO SORE. I have no idea how Saturday's going to go, it's a short meet, and there will be a lot of swimming. I do have one nemesis swimming all the same events as me (a guy who, at a swim meet earlier this winter, pushed off on the wrong side of the warm-down lane and hit me on the head so hard in the head that I had to scratch my 1000 because I got all nauseous and concussed.) I would really like to see him go down in a fair fight... But we'll see.
  11. Swiming with the FISHes

    by , May 5th, 2011 at 12:52 PM (Too Neurotic to be Suitably Aquatic)
    Crazy crazy busy right now, but I have 5 minutes so here goes...

    CONGRATS to everyone at Nationals! It was again inspiring to watch all those swims and broken records and people who are just out there doing it. At this time, I would like to state my intent to try to go to 2012, my last year to set some times in the 30-34 age group!

    Last Sunday, I swam in the NYC Parks & Rec meet, and had 3 out of 4 personal bests. And one 1/100th off a PR...
    200 free - 2:29.84 PR!
    50 free - 32.27 PR!
    50 fly - 44.26 (prev. PR is 44.25)
    100 IM - 1:28.05 PR!

    That 200 free was the most damn near perfect swim I've had to date. I was so happy during the whole meet, even that last 25 of the fly where I totally lost my form. What a well-run event in a great pool.

    My parents & sister also came to watch, and side note, we had an awesome lunch of rice & beans at an Equadorian food truck in the park after the meet.

    On Monday, Coach came back to work, and I returned to swimming with the FISH! It was great to be in a cold pool with other swimmers, although I forgot about how much one can get beat up in our really narrow lanes. On my first 25 of fly, I knocked my hand right into the laser-sharp lane lines and re-opened the cut on my hand that had had 6 weeks to heal. I wrote a previously-blogged workout for everyone.

    This Saturday, I'm going to the Ballston Spa Spring Fling meet, with the claim to fame for giving awards to pentathlon swimmers. (Swim all the 50's, 100's or 200's.) I signed up for the 100's, which should be special considering how tired I am right now. (I hit the weights Tuesday and this morning). Also, I just checked out my competition - there's one other person in my age group, also doing all the 100's, and she's like 5 seconds faster than me on every race. So it looks like I'll be Miss 2nd place unless I pull something out of nowhere. This will be one of those "finishing was the real reward" kind of meets, I suppose.

    Lunch break over, so happy swims, all!
  12. No clock, lots of IM

    by , April 28th, 2011 at 01:32 PM (Too Neurotic to be Suitably Aquatic)
    HAPPY SWIMS to everyone going to Nationals! I'll be participating in the NYC Parks & Rec Commissioner's Cup Trophy Relay Meet on Sunday, which is a FREE meet, yee-haw! I don't think the stakes could be any different between these two meets. This morning, while I was swimming at the Y, which will be my last swim time until Sunday, it occurred to me that I should train for some of my events on Sunday. Except I can't remember what I signed up for, so I just did my workout. Which was as follows:

    1000 warm-up
    (250 drill, 500 swim, 250 swim with "open water" turns (turn at the flags, don't touch the wall.))

    75 fly drill
    50 back drill
    25 breast drill

    16x25, 1-8 head up, 9-16 catch up

    #1: 25 fl, 50 bk, 50br, 75 fr
    #2: 25 fl, 50 bk, 75br, 50 fr
    #3: 25 fl, 75 bk, 50br, 50 fr

    500 pull
    2x300 IM (75 each stroke)
    300 IM kick
    6x100 pull
    4x100 IM
    150 EZ

    5000 total

    I don't know where I got this workout, but I had written it down as 5,000, but as I was swimming it I realized it was only 4,200, so I added the 500 and the extra 300 IM to round it out. It took a while because I didn't do any intervals at all, but I still managed to make it to the early bus.

    Safe travels to AZ, and wherever you're going this weekend! (I can't wait to find out what I'm swimming on Sunday!)
  13. Once More, From the Top

    by , April 26th, 2011 at 09:20 PM (Too Neurotic to be Suitably Aquatic)
    I swam 5000 yards at the Tarrytown Y this morning. My guy wasn't there, so it cost $.15 a lap. But a really good swim, totally worth it! I created this workout from other workouts:

    4x25 swim
    4x50 drill
    4x75 kick, drill, swim
    4x100 pull

    400 on 7:00
    2x50 choice on 1:00
    300 on 5:00
    4x50 IMO on 1:00
    200 on 3:00
    6x50 choice on 1:00
    100 on 2:00
    8x50 rev. IMO on 1:00

    100 kick
    500 swim
    4x100 kick

    16x25 build, EZ, build, fast (x4)
    16x25 IMO

    200 warm down

    * I liked having all my intervals start at the top. Some were easy, some were not as easy, but I didn't have to tax my brain with math.
    * I haven't done that much pure distance in a while, and the 400 and 500 felt surprisingly great. I think it's because the pool was only 81 or 82 instead of the usual 84. I didn't get a time for my 500 because I had to pause after the first 50 to work out a cramp in my foot.
    * My run from yesterday didn't hurt in the morning as much as it did last Tuesday, but I was feeling my calves on some of the push-offs. Also, on the train ride to the Y, they were hurting to the point where I couldn't get comfortable in my seat. That eased up greatly after the swim.
    * Dare I say I'm starting to like fly? Especially when it is broken into tiny 25 yard pieces. I'm working on not breathing every stroke, and that makes it feel so much better.
    * I'm also working on keeping my head low while breathing on freestyle, and today I experimented by closing my right eye while breathing on my right to make sure my left eye stayed under the water line. I tried it breathing to the left, but lacked the left-side control to tell my head, arm, and eye what to do at the same time.

    Went to the gym for some lifts and isometrics:
    I'm doing 5 sets & 5 reps for all of these until I get the swing of it.
    Bench Press: 75 lbs.
    Deadlift: 80 lbs.
    Squats: 65 lbs.

    Now for 8 hours of sleep, followed by some lifeguarding!
  14. Weekend Updates

    by , April 25th, 2011 at 08:44 PM (Too Neurotic to be Suitably Aquatic)
    Saturday I was lucky enough to swim at the CIA (not the spying one) with some of the fastest FISH. Even though they could swim circles around me, it was so great to be part of a team again! The practice was a challenge workout: add a 50, add 30 seconds:

    750 warm up

    50 on 1:10
    100 on 1:40
    150 on 2:10
    200 on 2:40
    250 on 3:10
    300 on 3:40
    350 on 4:10
    400 on 4:40

    Then there was 9x200 kick

    As for me, I started missing the intervals by the end of the 200, and got through to the 350 plus a bonus 50 while the others finished the 400. Instead of doing the 200 kick, I did 150's of IM for a total of 4,000 yards for me.

    Went to Bard, which was open on Easter, yeah! I'm not going to go into the whole story, but I ended up accidentally wearing a drag suit that was a size too big, and I think it made this swim harder. This is what we did, based on a Tall Paul workout:

    2x200 swim / kick
    8x25 (build, EZ, build, fast)

    200 @ 3:00
    8x50 @ :55
    200 @ 3:15
    6x50 @ :50
    200 @ 3:30
    4x50 @ :45
    200 @ 3:45

    100 recovery

    choice set:
    200 @ 4:30
    8x50 @ :45
    200 @ 4:15
    6x50 @ :50
    200 @ 4:00
    4x50 @ :55
    200 @ 3:45

    6x100 kick

    100 ez

    4800 total

    - For me, this was a non-stop workout, and I think I was being hindered by the drag suit, and the previous day's workout. I just barely made the 8 50's on :45 and squeezed out every yard of recovery on the 200's.

    lifeguarded in the morning, I've got one more week before Coach comes back and I can swim with the team again.

    After work, I tried out barefoot running again. I did the same mile as last time, and it was a little easier, but my lower calves/ankles still feel tight as all get-out. But no knee pain! Also an odd note: all the people I passed on the trail were friendly and said hello, except for a fellow barefooter in a pair of Vibram 5 fingers. Go figure.

    Just wrote a big workout for myself for the Y tomorrow, just me and the clock again.
  15. Smooth it out

    by , April 21st, 2011 at 09:18 PM (Too Neurotic to be Suitably Aquatic)
    Swam at the Y again this morning. It's still really hot there, but so convenient to work! Also, I traded a swim pass for 3 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies since it's now been 4 days that I've been following the doctor's advice and not eating sugar, and those cookies were just taunting me.

    Here was the workout, adapted from Tall Paul:

    4x25 swim
    4x50 IMO
    4x75 drill / kick / swim
    4x100 swim

    6x100 @ 1:50 smooth
    200 fast @ 3:15
    6x50 @ 1:00 smooth
    4x25 IMO

    6x100 @ 1:45 smooth
    200 fast @ 3:00
    6x50 @ :50 smooth
    4x25 IMO

    100 no splash
    50 fast
    100 no splash
    50 fast

    100 warm down

    3800 total

    I gave myself some longer intervals than I've been doing lately, and it felt good. With that extra rest, I was able to concentrate on early arm engagement, keeping my head down, and streamlining off the walls. I easily held the 100's at 1:25.

    Still feeling no significant pain from yesterday's run, although the soles of my feet were a little tender, and my calves felt wicked tight, mostly noticeable while going down stairs.

    After work I went to the gym, we worked on more classic lifts:

    Bench press - 70 lbs
    Squats - 70 lbs
    Deadlift - 65 lbs

    plus we've got an isometric routine started, taken from that Men's health article which has inspired the classic lift routine:

    Leg lifts - 30 on each side
    shoulders - 40 on each side
    upper back - 30, twice
    plank - 40 seconds

    Still got some work to do there.

    Feeling good! I'm taking tomorrow off from working out, unless you count bowling night with the BF. Can one FLOG bowling, I wonder?
  16. Shoeless me!

    by , April 20th, 2011 at 08:33 PM (Too Neurotic to be Suitably Aquatic)
    I just had my first barefoot run. Date night got canceled, so I decided to try out what I learned in "Born to Run."

    I grabbed a pair of ballet flat slippers and went to the freshly paved (and clean after the rain) rail trail to trot along the .6 mile stretch to see how it felt.

    Usually when I run I have to stop because of knee pain, hip pain, or ankle pain. Or because I can't breathe.

    Running the first half in slippers, I concentrated on keeping my torso smooth, having a short and quick cadence, and not flipping stepping on anything! The only thing that hurt were my lungs, so I slowed down to walk for bits. When I got to the end of the trail, I started to feel like my toes were a little constricted in the slippers. And knowing that I passed no broken glass or stones or anything really nasty, I took them off to run back to the car barefoot.

    The second half felt fantastic on my joints! That is, there was none of that familiar knee pain that always sets in after 10 minutes. However, my legs were burning a little, they're still sore from the squats on Monday night. I was going very, very slowly to pay attention to the ground in front of me, and I wonder if that was keeping me from having proper form. The wet pavement felt like running on a pumice stone, which started out feeling like massage to scratching and then burning by the last few yards. That's also about the time that my calves tightened up and for the first time I felt like stopping because of pain other than my breathing.

    I got home, washed my feet, gave thanks for the handy inhaler, and massaged my calves. Time will tell if I wake up with new sore parts, but the time I spent on the path was exhilarating, and I would do it again, or possibly invest in a pair of shoes that offer a barefoot feeling and protection. I don't think these ballet slippers will last more than a few outings.

    And tomorrow, it's back to the swimming!
  17. Working on Breathing

    by , April 19th, 2011 at 12:17 PM (Too Neurotic to be Suitably Aquatic)
    Yesterday, went to the gym and tried out a new old-school lifting routine. Bench presses, squats, deadlifts. Except I go to Club Barney, and there's only two free-standing barbells available, and the hoopleheads* had already laid claim to it. So there were no deadlifts to be done yet. Still, the bench presses made me feel powerful. And we did some isometric work as well to keep those injury-prone muscles injury-free.

    Top bench press weight: 65
    Top Squat weight: 65

    Swam at the Tarrytown YMCA today, with a workout adapted from a teammate. I liked it, a balanced mix of some IM work, which I tend to ignore in my desire not to swim as slowly as I can.

    200 swim
    10x50: 1&2, swim 3-6IMO, 7&8 build, 9&10 stroke
    4x50 kick
    100 pull

    3x200 IM @ 3:45
    4x75 @ 1:15
    3x100 IM @ 2:00
    4x50 @ :45
    50 EZ
    4x75 kick

    200 warm down
    4700 yards total

    **I stuck to the interval on the first round through, but the second time around I started to ignore the clock, except for the one telling me how much longer until I had to catch the bus.

    **Working on: no breathing between the flags, engaging my elbow at the catch, and turning my head as little as possible on the breath.

    **Speed work was hard because that pool is HOT.

    **Butterfly is starting to feel a little more natural, but like backstroke & breast, I'm not certain what I can do to pick up the pace, right now the only improvement I'm seeing is making it hurt less to do more.

    In other news, I got an inhaler yesterday from my doctor, just in time for me to not really need it, as the wheezing of the past two nights went away on its own. No matter, now I'm just one prop closer to my dramatic one-woman interpretation of "The Goonies."

    *The BF & I are currently watching Deadwood on DVD. It has gotten into my brain.
  18. Meat & Potatoes workout

    by , April 17th, 2011 at 06:53 PM (Too Neurotic to be Suitably Aquatic)
    Swam at Bard with The Tall Guy this morning. Another teammate, one who swims in lane 4 with me, joined us as well. TTG called this workout "meat & potatoes" because it follows a basic pattern, not trying to switch up intervals, strokes, and distance. That way you can really get some good swimming in. I adapted it from Tall Pall's thread: [ame=""]U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums - View Single Post - Tall Pauls Favorite Workouts and/or Sets[/ame]

    Warm up set 2x the following
    150 @ 2:30 (no breathing out of turns)
    100IM @ 1:45
    6 x 25's kick @ :35
    50 scull
    50 backstroke

    Main set
    6 x 100's @ 1:45
    200IM or stroke recovery @ 4:30
    5 x 100's @ 1:40
    200IM or stroke recovery @ 4:30
    4 x 100's @ 1:35
    200IM or stroke recovery @ 4:30
    3 x 100's @ 1:30
    200IM or stroke recovery @ 4:30
    2 x 100's @ 1:25
    200IM or stroke recovery @ 4:30

    300 kick w/board

    6 x 25's kick no board

    6 x 25's fast w/fins

    200 warm down

    4800 total

    It was good to swim with my lanemate again. I haven't [ame=""]swimeth[/ame] with the team since I started lifeguarding in March, and I miss it lots. There's no team practice this coming week because of spring break, and then I probably have another week of lifeguarding before I can hop back in again in May.

    In other news, I finished reading Born to Run, which was very inspiring. I was going to try out some of the techniques of smooth running this afternoon, but I've had sudden and annoying asthma symptoms since yesterday, which only went away during today's swim. Maybe after work this week if there's a good weather day, I'll give some short runs a try if I can get my lungs to cooperate as well.
  19. Ego boosts and humbling workouts

    by , April 14th, 2011 at 05:36 PM (Too Neurotic to be Suitably Aquatic)
    Swam at the YMCA today, adapted from a Tall Paul workout & my coach's favorite warm-up set:

    200 swim
    10 x 50 1&2 swim, 3-6 IMO, 7&8 build, 9&10 choice
    4x50 kick
    100 EZ

    5x200 @ 3:00, rest

    100 kick, rest
    4x50 @ :45
    50 recovery

    5x100 @ 1:30, rest

    100 kick, rest
    4x50 @ :45
    50 recovery

    6x75 @ 1:15, rest

    100 kick, rest
    4x25 @ :30
    50 recovery

    6x50, 1-3 @ :45, 4-6 @ 1:00, rest

    100 kick, rest
    4x25 @ :20
    50 recovery

    200 warm down

    4650 total

    The pool was warm, and it hurt. But I made all those intervals, except for the few times that I stopped to re-coup, including between the 3rd & 4th 200 & 100. Also, I was little miss speedy compared to the others, unlike on Monday. It took me a while to get going because I'm sore from all these things I haven't blogged about because I've been too busy doing them:

    Saturday - 5,000 meters at New Windsor Y. I made faster intervals than I planned (50 back on 1:00) to avoid having to listen to the political conversation happening among the other swimmers.
    Sunday - Relay Carnival (50 dog paddle, 50 feet first, 100 all-out (swam a 1:10!), 50 all-out, etc.) Had little opportunity for warm-up / warm-down
    Monday evening - 3,000 yards with the Westchester Masters on a meet & greet workout. The middle of the set was 4x400 build, which was me just hanging on for dear life and only managing one 400 where I didn't get lapped. Humbling was the word of the night.
    Tuesday morning - spent 40 minutes at the gym, running, doing push-ups, some jumping, and bagel eating.
    Tuesday night - Vinyasa Yoga.
    Wednesday - just putting my hands over my head was workout enough.

    COMMUTE READING - I very much enjoyed this article in Men's Journal: I'm so bored at the gym and I can't remember how do to anything complex, this article got me thinking I might experiment with some old-school lifting, but in a very small way to start. If anyone has suggestions about what's working for them, I'd be happy to hear it, because I'm not sure if there's something I need to alter as a just-getting-into-shape woman.

    Also, I'm reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. There's some really cool stories about ultra-runners, and I'm hoping to get to the part where I learn some tips on running injury-free or at least in a way where it doesn't suck so much. There are so many fabulous trails in my area that I would like to explore, and running would let me get to more of them, faster.
  20. Shortest FLOG entry to date

    by , April 8th, 2011 at 01:52 PM (Too Neurotic to be Suitably Aquatic)
    225 yards.

    25 free from the blocks
    25 feet first sculling
    25 free
    25 fly
    25 free
    25 SDK 'til I SDCouldn't (made it almost half way!)
    25 head-up drill with beach ball
    25 SDK & free to the wall
    25 relay start and hop out to take the world's fastest shower.

    Yesterday, I was going to get up early and swim at the Y, but my body was telling me that sleep would do me more good in the long run, especially after guarding on Wednesday before AND after work (and having to take the lane lines out all by myself), and then guarding again on Friday morning for the team. Today's FISH practice was a "taper" for our relay carnival dual meet against the Gunks on Sunday.

    The events for that meet are:
    200 doggie paddle relay; 100 feet first relay; 200 medley relay; 150 ladder (25-50-50-25) relay; 400 free relay; 200 surprise relay; 200 free relay; 100 inner tube relay; 100 beach ball relay; some "all team" relay, probably non-scoring if time allows.

    Practice was:

    3x200 Swim, Kick, Pull

    3x100 on 3:30 no breathing in & out of the flags

    4x75 on 2:00 free / stroke / free

    6x50 on 1:30

    #1 free / your worst stroke
    #2 free / your best stroke
    #3 EZ / Fast
    #4 Fast / EZ
    #5 EZ
    #6 FAST

    3 x (4 x 25 on :40):

    #1 dog paddle
    #2 head-up drill
    #3 sculling
    #4 breast stroke pull

    as time allows: relay starts & feet-first work

    All intended to better our chances at the meet on Sunday. During the last 10 minutes, I handed over my whistle to one of my co-horts and dove in to practice my starts and various other fun stuff, hence my 225 yard workout above. Oh MY, did that feel great! The clean, crisp, cool water of the Middle School pool is so far superior to the Y. Since I hate getting wet, I usually have a rule that 2,000 yards is the minimum once I've gotten in the water, but today, just that dive in alone was worth it. Also! That little workout bumped my FLOG to 111.11 miles, which is SO COOL.

    Tomorrow, I'm off to Bard early AM to do a crazy 5,000 yard thing.
    Yesterday, I walked and lifted at the gym and boy do my arms hurt.
    Today, I'm going home after work and actively resting on my couch.
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